It’s set to be a busy old week in London town, with some old timers including Beth Orton, James Iha and Ben Folds Five hitting the stage, as well as some of our favourite new live acts.
One of them, Night Beds, will play at the Slaughtered Lamb on Tuesday. The creation of 23-year-old American Winston Yellen, he channels a country/soul sound that’ll appeal to fans of Bon Iver and The Miserable Rich. His debut album, Country Sleep, is due for release on 4 February. We caught him supporting Wild Nothing last week and he’s also playing with Sharon Van Etten at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Monday, so he’s certainly making the most of his time over here.
Another album set for release in February is Team Ghost’s Rituals. They’re led by former
M83 member Nicolas Fromageau but take on a very different mood to that previous work. As Formageau puts it: “I guess Team Ghost is way darker than M83, as I love cold wave bands like Joy Division, Cocteau Twins etc… I just tried to create a new sound, I didn't wanna do another M83.” They play at the Sebright Arms on Monday.
We were really impressed when we saw Race Horses at their album launch show at the Lexington last month. Their debut album, Furniture, blends Talking Heads with Super Furry Animals via Duran Duran; it’s dripping in melodrama and upbeat pop tunes. They’re playing at KOKO on Friday.
East Londoners Theme Park have had a great year; their shows have got gradually bigger and bigger, from Birthdays to Hoxton Square Bar + Kitchen… and they’ve announced a headlining slot at Heaven for March. Before that they’ll play at Electrowerkz on Thursday. We saw them playing at Oxfam in Dalston, as part of Oxjam with Graham Coxon, when they showcased tracks from their forthcoming album, out in…you guessed it, February.
On Friday Café OTO hosts Pimmel – a band with probably as many members as there will be audience members. The collective “explore the power of massed fuzz organs” alongside stylophones, bass and drums. They’re led by Andy Saunders, a founding member of music/films experimentalists Towering Inferno – whose 1993 album Kaddish Brian Eno described as “the most frightening album" he had ever heard – which probably gives you an idea of what to expect.
Here's our pick of the best of the rest…
Monday 3 December
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Electric Ballroom
Team Ghost – Sebright Arms
Sharon Van Etten – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Ben Gibbard – Union Chapel
Splashh – 100 Club
Tuesday 4 December
James Blake – Conway Hall
Yeasayer – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
James Iha – Bush Hall
Night Beds – Slaughtered Lamb
Deerhoof – Garage
Ben Folds Five – Brixton Academy
Mark Lanegan Band – Forum
Wednesday 5 December
Willy Mason – Forum
Florence And The Machine – 02 Arena
Beth Orton – Union Chapel
The Fall – Islington Assembly Halls
The Wave Pictures – Dingwalls
Chew Lips – Birthdays
Matthew Dear + The Invisible – Fabric
Thursday 6 December
Sébastian Tellier – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Theme Park – Electrowerkz
Mission Of Burma – Birthdays
Kut Vile – Forum
Boris – Scala
Friday 7 December
Band Of Skulls – Brixton Academy
Gary Numan – Forum
Race Horses – Koko
Wild Beasts – Lexington
Saturday 8 December
We are The Physics + Dingus Khan – Buffalo Bar
Sunday 9 December
Pimmel – Café OTO
Cat Empire – Shepherd’s Bush Empire
2013 looks set to be a big year for Tom Odell. After a support slot on Jake Bugg’s recent tour, his single Another Love has been getting lots of air play and he was a guest on Later… with Jools Holland last week. He’s also just announced his first headline tour, which will call into Dingwalls on 13 March.
We loved Melody’s Echo Chamber’s self-titled debut, describing it as a cross between Stereolab and Tame Impala. The Aussies will be over here for a three-date tour in March, including the Scala on 5 March.
The Joy Formidable have been announced as the support band for Bloc Party’s Earls Court show on 22 February and they’ll be playing a lengthy headline tour of their own too. They’ll be at the Roundhouse on 8 March.
Soul legend Bettye LaVette will celebrate 50 years in the music industry with a show at Jazz Café on December 11. Expect songs from recent album Thankful n Thoughtful, which includes songs from Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Tom Waits, Neil Young and Gnarls Barkley.